The Story of Life Through Music

By Anthony Vela

Valedictorian and Music Performance Major Theresa Bissex ('18) Performs at the Madison Theatre

Valedictorian and Music Performance Major Theresa Bissex ('18) Performs at the Madison TheatreOn Wednesday, May 2, 2018 in the Madison Theatre at Molloy College, valedictorian and lyric soprano Theresa Bissex ('18) Music Performance major performed "Longing, Loss, Grief, and Wonder," a program of music exploring the relationship between the four seasons and human emotions. Ms. Bissex's expressive, warm, and silvery soprano voice was supplemented by interactive text, lighting, and visual displays. Together with accompanist Mark Moorman, Ms. Bissex performed songs in five languages from 18th to the 20th centuries. The program was sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Sorel, Dr. Jorge Sosa, and the Molloy Music Department.  

Graduating this May with a B.S. in Music Performance, Ms. Bissex has studied with prestigious faculty and performed at Molloy College, in New York City, and abroad in Italy.  

We sat down with the valedictorian and discussed her inspiration for her program, Molloy College, and her plans after graduating.

What was the inspiration for your program, "Longing, Loss, Grief, and Wonder?"

The theme of my program is based on the four seasons of nature and explores the relationship with four universal human emotional experiences (longing, loss, grief and wonder). This theme affirms humanity's intimate connection to Nature, a source of inspiration and empathy. I believe that the seasons of the natural world are analogous to the phases of a human being's emotional life. Both are cycles of growth, change, death, and rebirth. My recital is designed to tell the story of that cycle.

Why did you choose Molloy College?

Molloy appealed to me because of its warm community and small class size, which I knew would be an ideal learning environment for me. I enjoy having individual attention from professors and supportive classmates. The scholarships, the Molloy Honors Program, and the fantastic international education opportunities also really attracted me. 

How did it feel to be named the valedictorian for the Molloy Class of 2018?

Overwhelming and amazing. I am truly so grateful and honored to represent my class. I know it must have been a hard decision, since there are so many incredibly smart and hard-working students among my classmates.

How have the professors at Molloy influenced your music?

My professors in the music department and beyond have not only given me practical skills within my specific field, but encouraged me to expand my abilities and become a proficient and versatile professional. The interdisciplinary nature of the Honors Program also allowed me to integrate many disciplines and allow them to inform my musicianship. I am so grateful for how Molloy professors take time to see who I am as an individual and develop my potential in unique and creative ways.

What are your plans after graduating in May?

Sleep! Joking aside, I have been accepted to Respiro Opera, a young artist's summer program in NYC, which I will attend in June. I am also going to Chicago for a music conference, and after that I will be music directing a summer theatre program. In the fall, I plan to take classes at Juilliard Evening Division, work on business plans for my private music school, Cecilia Vocal Academy, and continue working as Director of Music for the Church of St. Rocco in Glen Cove. Additionally, although I won't be able to take advantage of Molloy's great international trips after graduation, I'll still be feeding my wanderlust with plenty of travel.

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